Need: To help low-income and rural community members access health information at their libraries.
Intervention: C4CH pilot-tested an interdisciplinary program of study designed to train Master of Library and Information Science students to become health information resources for underserved communities.
Results: The cohort of 10 students is graduating in summer 2022.
Catalysts for Community Health (C4CH) is a cohort of 10
Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) students
at the University of Missouri School of Information
Science & Learning Technologies who will become health
information resources for underserved communities. The
students took online classes and completed training while
they learned about and contributed expertise to local
networks including libraries and community health
settings like hospitals, senior centers, and school
programs. They also gained experience creating public
programs with open-access health information resources.
Program coordinators recruited students from the Network
of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) MidContinental
Region: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, and
Wyoming. The current cohort consists of students from
Colorado, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Develops outreach and programming with students and
Trains students to lead community health information
Ten students completed this program. These students
created a variety of health information guides as part of
their program on topics such as:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health
Self Care: Mental Health Resources for Adults
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students could not work
with community partners in person or work inside their
own libraries at times. Instead, students worked with
partners, including NNLM, and completed projects online.
While there are disadvantages and challenges to working
remotely, program coordinators say that these remote
opportunities were fruitful. Students were able to work
these online projects into their community and classwork.
Librarians can encourage promising employees to earn
their MLIS or to work through certifications offered by
their state or national organization such as the Medical
Library Association. Recruit employees who are interested
in staying in their communities and helping improve the
health of community members.
Faculty in other MLIS programs can work closely with
faculty in other disciplines to make sure that
information from the cross-disciplinary curriculum is
still useful to students as librarians. Meet with other
faculty to discuss your needs and purpose for the
program, and work with an advisory team to figure out how
courses from other departments, such as public health and
medical informatics, are relevant or useful.
Jenny Bossaller, Associate Professor
University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies email@example.com
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.